Jay Z, Beyonce, Swift Set to Rock Grammy Awards

By Colin Bertram
|  Friday, Jan 24, 2014  |  Updated 12:34 PM PDT
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    Billed as the biggest night in music, the 56th Annual Grammy Awards looks set to live up to the hype with a slew of major artists lining up to perform, present, and dazzle on the red carpet.

    It was revealed earlier this week that Beyonce and Jay Z will perform together at the Staples Center in L.A. Sunday night. Late Friday it was confirmed by the Recording Academy that a much-rumored performance by Madonna would occur during the ceremony.

    Going in, Jay Z holds the title of most nominated artist with nine nods including Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album and best rap/sung Collaboration, where he’s nominated with both his wife for "Part II - On the Run," and Justin Timberlake for the song “Holy Grail.”

    Newcomer Kendrick Lamar shares the second most-nominated berth with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Both artists are nominated seven times. 

    Beyonce's appearance will mark her first televised performance since the release of her platinum-selling, self-titled album in December. That album, the singer's fifth, was released after the Grammy nominations had already been announced.

    The former "Destiny's Child" diva earned only one nomination this year, for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with hubby Jay Z for their duet "Part II - On the Run" off of Jay’s album, "Magna Carta… Holy Grail." 

    Doing battle for record of the year are Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams ("Feeling Lucky"), Imagine Dragons ("Radioactive"), Lorde ("Royals"), Bruno Mars ("Locked Out of Heaven") and Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams ("Blurred Lines").

    Vying for album of the year are Sara Bareilles ("The Blessed Unrest"), Daft Punk ("Random Access Memories"), Kendrick Lamar ("Good Kid, M.A.A.D City"), Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ("The Heist") and Taylor Swift ("Red"). Swift is the only one of this year's nominees to have won (or even been nominated for) album of the year at the Grammys.

    Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are also up for the best new artist Grammy, for which they'll have to beat James Blake, Kacey Musgraves or Ed Sheeran.

    See the complete list of nominees here.

    Other performances on the night will include a rare joining of former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well songs from Hunter Hayes, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl and Nine Inch Nails. Bareilles will perform with 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year Carole King. Also taking the stage will be Lamar, Daft Punk, Lorde, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Katy Perry, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Pink, Robin Thicke and Chicago.

    There will also be a special performance featuring Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and nominee Blake Shelton.

    Presenters scheduled to appear include Alicia Keys, Yoko Ono, Smokey Robinson, Cyndi Lauper, Ryan Seacrest, Juanes, Jamie Foxx, Neil Patrick Harris, Ariana Grande, Gloria Estefan, Anna Faris and Black Sabbath.

    The 56th annual Grammy Awards will air live Sunday Jan. 26 on CBS.

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